Module with Separable Single-Mode Expanded-Beam Optical Interface for Edge-Coupled PIC Optics

Project Leader

Peter O’Brien
Tyndall Institute


Call-for-Participation Webinar

Call-for-Participation Presentation (April 14, 2021)

Statement of Work


Industry roadmaps predict that silicon-photonics-based transceiver modules will provide the most cost-effective and energy-efficient solutions for onboard interconnections in the future. Before the anticipated benefits of silicon photonics can be realized, new high-performance, cost-effective and compact solutions for optical packaging and connection must be developed and demonstrated, and these solutions be compatible with high-volume manufacturing.

iNEMI is presently addressing the development of separable single-mode (SM) optical interface modules  — including suitable photonic integrated circuits (PICs), connectors and assembly technologies — for data center applications, which demand higher efficiency and compact optical switches. This work is important to help ensure supply chain readiness. 

Project Objectives

This project will allow evaluation of existing and developing components, and thereby identify gaps in the board-level technologies needed for practical implementation. 

Phase 1 of the project will: 
  • Demonstrate the principle and operation of the separable SM optical interface for transceiver modules. 
  • Identify key barriers and challenges in terms of design, materials and packaging and assembly approaches to high-volume manufacturability. 
  • Start developing recommendations to the supply chain for assembly of such optical modules.  
Future phases are planned to: 
  • Assemble modules having a separable optical interface with optimized PICs and expanded-beam receptacles and connectors for more extensive performance evaluation.
  • Demonstrate SM expanded-beam connectors for module-waveguide connections for PCB-embedded waveguide technology.

Related Projects

Previous work in the iNEMI-IPSR Board-Level Optical Interconnect projects identified the need for assessment of the performance of prototypes of board-level interconnect systems based on SM fiber, expanded-beam optical coupling, and silicon photonics transceivers. 

For Information

For additional information: Grace O'Malley (